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Gippslanders will benefit from expanded access to life changing medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), giving further support to patients and their families.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said from today, three new medicines for people suffering from multiple sclerosis, asthma and diabetes will be available to patients for $41.30 per script or $6.60 for concession following the addition to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).  The new PBS listings effective from March 1, 2021 include:

  • Zeposia® (ozanimod), a medicine used to treat relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system, and for which a cure is yet to be found. Over 25,600 Australians have multiple sclerosis, and it affects each person differently, with more than 10 Australians diagnosed every week. Without PBS subsidy, over 5,200 patients might pay more than $29,000 per year for this medicine.
  • Atecture Breezhaler® (indacaterol with mometsone), a medicine used to treat asthma, helping to relax and reduce swelling and irritation in the small airways in the lungs. Around 2.7 million Australians live with asthma and can experience episodes of wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, chest tightness and fatigue caused by narrowing of the airways. Without PBS subsidy, over 34,600 patients might pay more than $400 per year to access this medicine.
  • Trulicity® (dulaglutide), a medicine used in combination with insulin and metformin to treat type 2 diabetes, by helping the body produce more insulin when blood sugar levels are high. Almost one million Australians have type 2 diabetes and their pancreas does not produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels. Without the PBS subsidy, around 12,000 patients might pay more than $1,700 per year for treatment.

Mr Chester said each of the medicines had been recommended to be added to the PBS by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

“Since 2013, the Federal Government has approved more than 2,550 new or amended listings on the PBS,” Mr Chester said.

“This represents an average of around 30 listings or amendments per month at an overall investment of $12.6 billion by the Government.

“The Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring that Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.”

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